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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sacred Space



It’s Sacramental Saturday, and although I (and others) have spent many hours and days exploring proper sacraments in this space; I’d like to briefly consider space, itself, tonight… this space… physical space… mental and emotional space… just… space…

I think we need it: I don’t think we allow for enough of it (simplistic enough).

The only way this ever gets remedied is for us to make space a priority.

And so I am tempted to talk about spiritual disciplines and how we must fill our spaces with them.  I am inclined to lean toward inward disciplines—particularly toward disciplines of abstinence, because it seems as if they might be the ones that best allow for space.  But I want to be careful, because even the thrust toward disciplines such as silence and solitude can become a burden if we do not first recognize the need for clear space… empty space… overall.  These things are not interchangeable.

I live in a culture overwhelmed with noise, and not just the kind you hear.  Even if I manage to sneak away to a quiet corner of my world where auditory noise is almost eliminated (the hum of the air conditioner isn’t something I’m willing to part with on such a hot, humid day); my mind will continue to run. 

Visual noise is, quite possibly, an even greater danger.  How about some stats? The sheer number of screens available to me at any given time is staggering—and addictive.  I should absolutely admit that it is addictive, because as I am typing even this post about space; I am slightly panicked over the fact that I accidentally left the power cord for my laptop 222 miles from where I now sit, I only have 33% battery life remaining (which should last approximately two hours), and I’m concerned that if my battery drops below a certain level I will need to quickly send this particular document to some remote location, so I can access it on one of the other four computers currently at my disposal.  Four!  This will, in turn, bring great irritation to one of my children, because it will leave him or her without a functioning computer for at least several minutes.  Depending on the child this affects, he or she may request the use of a hand held video game or tablet during such time.  And I think there may be eleven available options.  Eleven!  But if none of those devices are sufficient, perhaps one of the three smart phones or the TV will do. 

There is no space.

This post isn’t going in all the beautiful unplugged, hands free directions you might assume, though.   

As it turns out, I’m not much of an advocate for unplugged and hands free, except in rare circumstances (water parks are a good one), because my world requires technology for communication.  And communication matters—a lot.

So no, I’m not going to guilt you into putting your phone down, because you’re missing your life, and, in fact, I might encourage you to pick it up if it includes a camera, because that’s a fabulous way to chronicle the everyday memories that might otherwise be forgotten.

I am, however, going to ask you to think about when… and where… and for how long you might be able to clear some space to simply be covered by the grace that loves you because you exist.  No strings… no requirements… no pressure.

Sacramental and disciplined living is important and transformative, but it must begin with accepting that which we cannot do, if we hope to recognize God at work.
 
L. 

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